CSM Celebrates Longevity, Loyalty - Southern Maryland Headline News

CSM Celebrates Longevity, Loyalty

LA PLATA, Md.—The College of Southern Maryland recognized 65 employees with a combined 805 years of service to the college at the 28th Annual Service Recognition Ceremony and Reception on March 7 at the La Plata Campus.

“This is a time when we recognize what is special about the College of Southern Maryland—its people,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

Among those honored was Richard Siciliano, professor of languages and literature, who has served the college for more than 45 years.

“When Rich began in 1968, this was the first broadcast year of “60 Minutes,” it was the year that Richard Nixon went on “Laugh-in,” and I was in my second year of college,” Gottfried said to those attending the ceremony. “I want to point out that Rich exemplifies our faculty.

Here is a man who has taught for 45 years at the college and when you talk to him he is still excited about what he does. He is offering a new online class, ‘Civil War in Film and Literature,’ and he is as enthusiastic as a new faculty member.”

“Rich has held many positions at CSM—he served as instructor of English, interim chair of the English department, the college’s first full-time registrar, director of admissions, director of student personnel services, coordinator of publications and community relations, and coordinator of instructional technology,” said CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Sue Subocz in her introduction and prior to the prolonged standing ovation Siciliano received.

“It was really a chance in coming here, to Charles County. It had been recommended that I apply as my first job in teaching,” said Siciliano, who added that in trying to find the college at its brand new campus in La Plata for his interview he got lost. “I stopped at a gas station in La Plata and they said, ‘Charles County Community College? I don’t think you can get there from here.’” He successfully found the campus, as well as a satisfying career.

Siciliano said that he enjoys his time at CSM and that he has taught at all three campuses, at locations in all Southern Maryland counties and in Dahlgren, Va., and in 1994, developed and taught CSM’s first online course in business and technical writing.

“When I served as registrar in 1970, I suggested to Dr. John Sine, then dean of the college, that we begin what has become the 45-year tradition of faculty tipping their caps to the graduates at commencement,” Siciliano said, adding that after serving as an administrator for a few years, he returned to his passion—teaching English.

In 1996, Siciliano was elected as a faculty representative to the Faculty Advisory Council of the Maryland Higher Education Council (MHEC), representing 10 non-metropolitan community colleges, including CSM. He is also the vice-coordinator and web master of the Association of Faculty for the Advancement of Community College Teaching (AFACCT), a state-wide association dedicated to community college faculty development activities.

Siciliano earned a bachelor’s degree in English languages and literature from Franklin and Marshall College, a master’s degree in English literature from The Catholic University of America, and a Specialist in Education and Doctor of Education from The George Washington University (GW). Siciliano is a recipient of the college's Faculty Excellence Award and was named the 2000 Distance Educator of the Year by the College of the Air Distance Education Consortium.

In addition to Siciliano who was recognized for the longest years of service at the ceremony, other employees marking increments of five years of service were honored.

For the past three decades, James Spence has served in a number of student support roles at the college, most recently as senior coordinator for transfer and articulation services.

“James loves to take students on trips to visit transfer colleges and universities. For many students this is their first time visiting a four-year school and James is able to see their eyes light up as they begin to think about possibilities for their future,” said CSM Vice President of Student and Instructional Services Dr. Bill Comey, who added that Spence uses the trips to help students ‘raise the bar’ on their academic goals, challenging them to not only complete their degree at CSM, but to pursue their bachelor’s degree as well.

“I think I have the best job at CSM—I get a chance to see students transfer into and from CSM. It is my work with the students that keeps me coming to CSM with a smile,” said Spence.

Spence earned a bachelor’s degree in religion from Emmanuel College.

Patrick Allen has served as chair of Social Sciences and Public Services Division for 25 years. When he arrived on the campus in 1988, the department consisted of one faculty member who taught geography and political science; now he oversees 10 full-time, three part-time and many adjunct faculty.

“Patrick’s philosophy is ‘if you know me, you know me.’ He tries to be an authentic person so that people who meet him will have a chance to be authentic in their own interactions with him,” said Subocz.

Allen earned a doctorate in school psychology and bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T) in English from Harvard University. He is a Maryland licensed psychologist, and a member of the National Association of School Psychologists and the Maryland Psychological Association.

Celebrating 20 years of service, Susan Straus was a student at the college working as the secretary to the associate dean of learning resources. After a brief interlude at work outside the college, she returned in 1998 and has subsequently held positions in Accounting and Budget, Career Services and Advising and Career Services (ACS).

“As director of ACS, Susan developed many innovative services and approaches to help students clarify and meet their educational and personal goals. She has a reputation for being a leader, a mentor and a friend among her staff and peers,” said Comey. “Susan speaks very fondly of her family’s association with CSM—she was employed as a work study student, received her associate degree and met her husband at CSM; her son played soccer and earned an associate of science in engineering here; and her daughter learned to swim at CSM.”

Straus earned an associate degree in secretarial science from CSM, a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Maryland University College and a master’s degree in education and human development from GW.

“There’s a book that was written many, many years ago called ‘Built to Last.’ The theme is that it’s the culture of an organization that takes it through the generations. I can tell you that a culture is clearly evident here at CSM,” said CSM Board of Trustees Chair Mike Middleton, who added that in evaluating internal surveys the trustees focus on employees’ job satisfaction. Middleton said that employees are proud of CSM because of the training that is provided, the creativity, the wellness opportunities, and the support and collaboration they have with their supervisors.

CSM employees honored for years of service at the college are:

Five years: Tony Anthony, Kenneth Caulley, Gordon Chandler, Keyonna Clark, David Coppins, Rhonda Croxton, Jeanine Davis, Gilbert Farrall, Michael Garner, Denise Gilmer-Knudson, Laurence Harrington, Chloe Hiland, Kurt Hildebrand, Dorothy Hill, Thomas Kelley, Jehnell Linkins, Diane Major, Deborah Mattingly, Brenda Miller, Karla Nagi, Ann Penick, Kevin Pinkney, Jeffrey Potter, Tricia Roberson, Laura Robins, Jennifer Rupp, Kenneth Smith and Erika Stephens.

10 years: Judith Allen-Leventhal, George Bedell, Richard Beers, Denise Bailey Clark, Jennifer Houchin, David Phalen, Stephen Stansfield and Chris Storey.

15 years: Mike Baione, Barbara Bowling, Lucia Charpentier, Jacqueline Dyson, Bob Gates, Carol Harrison, Joyce Hohn, Joel Kinison, Gene Kirscht, Tabitha Krauel, Eric McCollum, Mary Beth McCollum, Wanda Thomas and Jill Wathen.

20 years: Regina Bowman-Goldring, Charlene Brown, Dave Marek, Fred Russell, Linda Smith, Sharon Smith-Douglas and Straus.

25 years: Allen, Becky Cockerham, Katherine Marshall and Francis Spriggs.

30 years: Sue Chappelear, George Kraus and Spence.

45 years: Siciliano.

For information on employment opportunities at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/employment/.

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